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NY Mets News: 90-day warranty on first place expires in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 06: Left fielder Dominic Smith #2 of the New York Mets makes a catch in front of center fielder Brandon Nimmo #9 on a ball hit by Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 6, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 06: Left fielder Dominic Smith #2 of the New York Mets makes a catch in front of center fielder Brandon Nimmo #9 on a ball hit by Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 6, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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The second-place New York Mets. We haven’t seen it written like this in 90 days. It’s the number of days Big Ed and his Filipino fiancé had to get married. It’s the number of days I made sure to muscle out at my previous job to ensure I got unemployment in case they fired me.

The 90-day warranty on first place is over for the Mets. They are now in second place and the vibe around the team doesn’t seem to have a renewal plan in place.

There’s still hope for the Mets

Is there any good news to report? The Mets feel like they’re in freefall with no end in sight. Fortunately, a win on Saturday puts them right back in first place.

Think of it like the WWE of the late 1990s. During the Attitude Era, the championship belt would change hands a lot more regularly. A guy might win the belt on a Sunday night PPV only to drop it the next night on RAW. The Mets can retake the NL East Title Belt with a single victory from the Philadelphia Phillies. And even if they do, how long will that even last*?

*I have losing so much on my mind, I originally wrote “lost” instead of last.

Friday’s loss to the Phillies was painful for a few reasons. The offense mustered only five hits behind a nice start from Marcus Stroman. Phillies pitcher Kyle Gibson drove in the go-ahead run and in the bottom of the eighth inning, Bryce Harper hit a two-run shot to make it 4-1. This came against Edwin Diaz, the rusty New York closer back from paternity leave.

The Mets tried charging back in the ninth inning. Jonathan Villar hit a solo shot. It wasn’t nearly enough. The Mets lost 4-2 and fell a half-game behind the Phillies.

The Mets were lucky to be in first place as long as they were

The 90 days the Mets spent atop the NL East was a fun ride. At times, we all questioned how this was possible. How could a team with lineups this shallow continue to win? Tomas Nido was the starting catcher at one point. Cameron Maybin was hitting in the middle of the order!

Not much has changed with the Mets offense. Continually inept, the problem seems to be the starting pitching—but not really.

The Mets starters literally carried the club through the first few months. Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Taijuan Walker were brilliant. The club has lost deGrom to an injury, continues to get good but not excellent outings from Stroman, and can no longer rely on Walker. Starting pitching might be a problem. However, the offense is the reason why on August 7th the team is in second place for the first time in 90 days.

The fat lady hasn’t sung yet on the season. There’s more than enough time to bounce back, retake first place, and stay there.

Next. Memorable Mets trades in August

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Optimism may be hard to find with the Mets at the moment. Nothing seems to be going right. Dogs chasing their own tails have more luck than this club has had over the last week-plus. Maybe they’ll catch it before time runs out.

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